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Professional Cleanings
Professional cleanings performed by a licensed dentist or hygienist are just as important to your dental health as daily brushing and flossing. Using specialized tools and training, your hygienist or dentist will:

• Remove plaque build-up from the surfaces of teeth. Bacteria in the mouth form plaque, which collects on teeth and causes decay, gum disease, and gingivitis.
• Remove tartar from teeth surfaces. Tartar, or calculus, is plaque that has become so hardened on the teeth that its removal requires special procedures. Tartar below the gum line is also an indication of gum disease.
• Remove surface stains from teeth through polishing.

Examinations
Regular examinations by your dentist help detect and prevent health issues before they become serious. Consistent dental check-ups help catch problems when they are small and easier to treat. Left unattended, small treatable problems become worse and may require more extensive, expensive procedures to repair. Dental examinations generally include the following:

• Gum disease screening
• Oral cancer screening
• Visual tooth decay evaluation
• Visual gum disease examination
• Gum pocket measurement and tracking
• X-ray examination to detect: tooth decay, cysts, tumors, problems below the gums and other hidden issues

Regular examinations by a dentist are very important for your health. Remember, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." –Benjamin Franklin

X-rays (Radiographs)
Dental x-rays are a primary tool for early identification of dental problems. Dentists can detect issues with x-rays before they become problems saving you money in the long run by preventing the need for more extensive, expensive procedures or surgeries. X-rays are primarily used to detect:

• Internal tooth decay
• Cysts (fluid filled sacks at the base of your teeth)
• Tumors, both cancerous and non-cancerous
• Impacted teeth
• Teeth that are still coming in

Digital X-rays Advantages
Digital x-rays have several advantages over traditional film based x-rays:

• They emit up to 90% less radiation
• They are ready for examination nearly instantly
• They can be viewed on a computer screen
• Their image can be refined and enlarged
• They are greener; no chemicals are needed for processing

Sealants
Sealants are generally used to help prevent tooth decay on the biting surfaces of back teeth (molars). The natural grooves of these teeth can trap food that can resist casual brushing and rinsing. If left in place, the trapped food allows bacteria to multiply, eventually causing tooth decay and requiring costly attention.

Sealants are painted directly onto the tooth's biting surface where they seal the natural grooves to help prevent tooth decay. While sealants are durable, they are not permanent. They can last up to 5 years of normal wear before needing replacement.

Sealants offer a cost-effective, preventative step to reduce the chances of tooth decay on the chewing surfaces of molars. However, they do not replace the need for regular brushing and flossing.

Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)
Gum disease accounts for approximately 70% of all tooth loss in adults. Early signs of gum disease include bleeding gums when flossing or brushing, and gums that are red, inflamed, or swollen.

Gum disease and tooth decay are caused by the same bacteria. These bacteria form plaque beneath the gum line, which eats away at the bond between tooth and gum. If deterioration is allowed to continue, "pockets" form in between the teeth and the gums. Pockets deeper than 3mm may require special treatment to remove the bacteria and plaque. Without treatment and continuous maintenance, gum disease will eventually weaken the bonds that hold the teeth in place.

There is no permanent treatment for gum disease. However, it can be kept under control with proper personal hygiene and regular visits to a trained dentist or hygienist.
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What Should Your Oral Hygiene Routine Include?
There are always questions about how to set up an oral hygiene routine when we have patients come in. Some want to know about how often to brush or floss, while others want to know about things like mouthwash. Here is a simple breakdown of what you need to make sure you are taking the best care of your oral health as possible.

Daily Oral Hygiene Routine

Each day, you need to make sure you brush. This should be done once in the morning and one more time at night. You should make sure you brush for a full two minutes each time, timing it out if necessary. One of the times that you brush, you also need to floss. You want to drag the floss along the insides of your teeth, not saw it back and forth, to get the most debris out from between your teeth. You should then rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash to ensure the areas between your teeth get thoroughly clean.

Routine Outside of the Daily Grind

You also need to make sure you come in every six months for a cleaning. This is very important when it comes to caring for your teeth. We clean differently and more thoroughly than your toothbrush can. If we find any issues, you want to also have them treated as early as possible. Otherwise, it can lead to bigger problems that can ruin your oral health.

If you want more ideas on how to care for your mouth, call us. We are here, ready and waiting to help with anything you may need. Taking care of your oral health is something that helps take care of the rest of your body, too, so make sure you never let your oral health slide!



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Russell Bibb DMD - Estacada Dental | www.estacadadental.com | 503-630-4211
103 SE Highway 224, Suite A, Estacada, OR 97023



 

 

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